Relationships need to involve personal contact, not just the Internet

Jovel Queirolo
Managing Editor

High school relationships can be terrifying. Bad breath is the enemy. A girl might be confused about whether a guy likes her. And the guy might like her but be too scared to ask her out. Conversations can be painfully awkward for first-time daters, yet high school is where many folks have first dates.

Traditional dating is in trouble. Relationships are getting even more confusing with the growing presence of technology in many young relationships. Although most teens do not consider themselves online daters, the fact that many relationships begin and end on Facebook might prove otherwise.

Overall time spent on the Internet remains at 12 hours per week, according to a Forrester Research report, and teens are no exception. If one counts Facebook relationships as online dating, about 20 percent of online daters admit to deception, according to survey research conducted by Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. When the daters were asked if other daters were lying, the number jumped to 90 percent.

If high school students looking for love are statistically prone to lie online, then the already puzzling process of getting to know someone by dating them through chats and texts becomes difficult, if not impossible.

A guy, for instance, talks to a girl he likes for a few weeks online and she gets to know him only through text on a computer screen. If he’s a crafty writer, he might be able to make a pretty hot impression on his crush.

She seems into him from what she’s typing back in their online conversations so he asks her to a dance. They haven’t hung out, but they’ve seen each other around school and they smile at each other.
If he picks her up the night of the dance and turns out to be a complete jerk, she is stuck with a nightmare — an entire evening with a person painfully different from the dreamy, charming guy she talked to online.

He could have asked her out at school, and she could have seen how different their interests were before he could ask her to a dance. His real voice and real mannerisms and tone might really bother her — things that cannot be translated over an Internet conversation.

Most importantly, if they had physically gone out she could have learned how to talk to a boy in person. She skipped the lesson learned in dating where a girl learns to identify undesirable
traits or body language in a potential relationship because she did not get the truth in their nightly chats.

Teens should get off Facebook and hang out with their crushes if they are looking for a relationship. A simple walk in the park or an ice cream stop afterschool might be more charater-revealing than typing in questions to be answered in an IDK and an LOL.

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